Friday, February 12, 2016

She crashed her own funeral

Sarah Kaplan writes in the Washington Post about a woman who
crashed her own funeral, horrifying her husband, who had paid to have her killed. ...The husband, Balenga Kalala, ultimately pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine years in prison for incitement to murder, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp. (the ABC).

"Progressives are the car salesmen of the State, and there’s always more undercoating to sell."

Jonah Goldberg at National Review watched last night's debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and Jonah is
really sick of this idea that if we all come together, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish. If we are unified around the idea that Mars should have a breathable atmosphere, will that suddenly happen? If we all agree that Lena Dunham should be a sex symbol, will we get any closer to that being true? If 100 percent of us agree that bears must use indoor bathrooms, will they magically leave their wooded toilets behind them?

Indeed, this whole idea that if we just rally the people to some grand cause we can get it done is simply gross. It’s Five Year Plan talk. It’s how dictators justify monuments and totalitarians bully dissidents. If only someone wrote a book about this. Oh, and it doesn’t work. North Korea’s economy isn’t suffering from a lack of unity or participation.

...Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and countless other Democrats insisted they opposed same-sex marriage. Conservatives said they were lying. Democrats protested, often with great and haughty indignation. They said it was outrageous to question their commitment to traditional family values, religious principle, etc. And then, when the issue was ripe, they “evolved.” Now, I always believed that Obama and Clinton were liars when it came to gay marriage (and not just gay marriage). But even if that weren’t the case, it doesn’t change the fact that liberals can’t be relied upon to stick to any principle if that principle becomes remotely inconvenient.

Except one: More government.

Progressives are the car salesmen of the State, and there’s always more undercoating to sell.

More government is the one indispensible conviction of modern progressivism. Everything else is up for negotiation.

...We all know how many times the titular head of the Democratic party, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has been asked to distinguish between socialism and whatever dog’s breakfast the Democratic party stands for. Clinton gets asked that question often as well, and usually responds with her patented “I Don’t Like Your Question So I Will Laugh To Distract You” Cackle®.

For generations, if a conservative said there was no difference between Democrats and socialists (however defined!), liberal eyes would roll right out of their heads. Such statements were like gassy flares from the fever swamps of the cranky, crazy American Right. Even at the dawn of the Obama administration, this was still the case. Indeed, I wrote a perfectly reasonable and reasoned piece for Commentary asking, “What Kind of Socialist Is Barack Obama?” (My answer: a neo-socialist). Liberals tittered and scoffed.

And now, because a septuagenarian (self-described) socialist is popular with the kids today, it is now verboten to suggest there is a difference between Democrats and socialists.

Whatever socialism is -- or isn’t -- it hasn’t changed in the last ten months. What’s changed is the rigidity of liberal spines. They’ve gone from flexible to flaccid to liquefaction. And that’s why you can never trust them, even when you agree with them. They’ll always want more, because more is the only thing they really believe in.
Read more here.

Does Trump scare you?

At his Dilbert blog Scott Adams tries to figure out why so many Americans fear Donald Trump. He rules out Trump's stands on social programs, healthcare, immigration (Trump's plan is all about keeping Americans safe), use of the military, and sober decision-making. Scott believes that for those who fear Trump as president,
The elephants in the room are race and gender. I’m the same race and gender as Trump, so I see no risk of him discriminating against people like me. But to women and minorities, he probably seems unpredictable, unsympathetic, and powerful. That’s the scariest combo.

Unpredictable people with no power are no problem. People with power who act in predictable ways can be avoided. And sympathetic people can generally be trusted. But an intentionally unpredictable person with great power and no love for political correctness is scary as hell.
Read more here.

Alpha versus beta


Compare this photo of Trump with the previous post about Jeb Bush.
Now tell me a beta male can do as well as an alpha male in a 2016 presidential contest.

Telling us why he is the best candidate, but not endorsing him?

Can anyone explain to me this phenomenon: Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh constantly make the case that Ted Cruz is the first constitutional conservative to be doing this well in the Republican primaries since Ronald Reagan. Yet, unlike Glenn Beck, who says the same thing about Cruz, Mark and Rush are careful to say they are not endorsing anyone.

"They're kicking me out the door!"

Why?

Ya don't get to know what they do. A server full of secrets ain't no thing

Bernie sounds great...



Bryan Preston writes,
Bernie Sanders' socialism sure sounds good...as long as you don't know anything about economics or human nature, don't understand anything about the history of the 20th century, don't mind using government coercion and theft to get stuff that doesn't belong to you and you didn't earn, you have no qualms about turning neighbor against neighbor while putting all power in the hands of a privileged few, and you don't really believe in privacy or private property at all...it sounds great!

Goin' south

Thursday, February 11, 2016

She majored in feminist studies

Always on the cutting edge of journalism, Manhattan Infidel brings us a report of a local girl who came home from college radicalized:
Local residents were concerned when one of their own, a former cheerleader, returned from college radicalized.

“I was shocked” said her neighbor.

I’ve known her since she was a kid. Always sweet, cheerful and friendly. She and my daughter were varsity cheerleaders together. But when she came to see my daughter I held the door open for her. She yelled at me and said I was violating her safe space and she resented my patriarchal privilege. Then she maced me. I’ve been maced before. I’m married to an Irish woman after all. Still I was surprised.
Her mother blames herself.

“I was the one who told her to major in feminist studies” she lamented.

She originally wanted to major in Home Economics. I told her that she might make more money by being a feminist studies major. The major says “Studies” so that means it’s important. But when she came home I asked her if she could help me cook dinner for her father. She threw a tampon in my face and called me a slave. The next morning I caught her carving the turkey with a wire hanger. She said it was to symbolize the days when women didn’t have female reproductive freedom.
Police became involved when she stopped traffic on the street by taking off her top and shouting “My breasts are not yours to look at.”

“I must confess I didn’t understand the logic of this” said one of the officers called on the scene.

To take your top off and expose your breasts while holding a sign that says “My breasts are not yours to look at” just didn’t make any sense. Kind of like electing a socialist who will raise taxes to improve our economy. Anyway we arrested her. She spit on me and called me a “penis monster.” I’ve been called worse. We ignore it. It’s part of our training.
Released on bond and warned not to disturb the peace she went to an elementary school and started handing out fliers to the children urging them to cut their penises off.

“Fortunately since this is the American education system none of the kids can read” said a teacher.

Reading, writing and math are old fashioned. We teach the kids about white privilege and guilt. It seems to help them realize that America is a racist country. We talk about the evils of capitalism also. Sometimes we have sex with the kids because love is love.
The last word belongs to her parents.

“We don’t understand what happened to our girl. This doesn’t represent mainstream feminism. Feminism is the ideology of peace!”

How have falling oil prices affected the finances of Saudi Arabia?

How have falling oil prices affected the finances of Saudi Arabia? Captain Capitalism writes,
First we have economic growth. This is NOT GDP, though the graph will look that way. It is YEAR OVER YEAR economic growth, ie- GDP growth. In 2011 and 2012 Saudi Arabia's economy was booming, logging a near one third growth rate for both years. Not 1/3%. 33%. Growth collapsed quickly in 2013 and 2014, entering a NEGATIVE 13% GDP for 2015. Of course, Western nations aren't accustomed to such volatility in their growth rates, but it still doesn't change the fact 2015 was a devastating year for Saudi Arabia.



Read more here.

She was obviously precocious


Chelsea Clinton says she left the Baptist church when she was six, because
she was upset when teachers in a Sunday School class talked about the wrongness of abortion.
I don't recall my children having that much autonomy at age six.
Read more here.

Voting with their feet

Carson Bruno reports at Real Clear Markets,
Between 2004 and 2015, roughly 930,000 more people left California than moved to the Golden State -just three years saw net domestic in-migration. The biggest beneficiaries of California's net loss are Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

California is bleeding working young professional families. Approximately 18% of the net domestic out-migrants are children (ages 0 to 17), while another 36% are those between the ages of 40 and 54. From this we can tell that 1) children aren't packing up and leaving on their own - they are going with their parents and 2) those in the heart of their prime working-age are moving out. Moreover, while 18-to-24 year olds (college-age individuals) make up just 1% of the net domestic out-migrants, the percentage swells to 17% for recent college graduates (25 to 39 year olds). While California may still be doing decently well at attracting college students, they aren't sticking around.

Looking at labor force categories provides more evidence that California is losing working young professional families. 57% are either employed individuals or not in the civilian working population, i.e. under the age of 16. And while the highest income quintile is experiencing net domestic out-migration, the lowest, second, and middle-income quintiles account for 85% of the net domestic out-migration. In fact, the fourth income quintile - the upper-middle class - actually sees net domestic in-migration. So while there is a narrative that the rich are fleeing California, the real flight is among the middle-class.

Knowing that net out-migrants are more likely to be middle-class working young professional families provides some hints as to why people are leaving California for greener pastures. For one, California is an extraordinarily high cost-of-living state. Whether it is the state's housing affordability crisis - California's median home value per square foot is, on average, 2.1 times higher than Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington's - California's very expensive energy costs - the state's residential electric price is about 1.5 times higher than the competing states - or the Golden State's oppressive tax burden - California ranks 6th, nationally, in state-local tax burdens - those living in California are hit with a variety of higher bills, which cuts into their bottom line.

This is particularly problematic since the Silicon Valley-Bay Area is really the only region in California performing economically well at this time. Considering the fact that Silicon Valley is dominated by one industry and is among the most expensive places to live in California - the region's median home value per square foot is 3 times that of the rest of the state - California's middle-income working young professional families have limited options when it comes to an affordable place to live or a decently paying job to afford the state's cost-of-living.

This matters moving forward because as working young professionals leave the state, California's population grows older and more retiree-centric, which leads to a less economically productive environment and less tax revenue for the state and municipalities, but a need for more social services. And when coupled with the fact that immigrants - who are helping to drive population growth in California - tend to be, on average, less affluent and educated and also are more likely to need more social services, state, county, and municipal governments could find themselves under serious administrative and financial stress.
Read more here.

What is the economic and fiscal impact when undocumented immigrants return to their home countries?

Did you know that since 2007 the number of undocumented immigrants has fallen by 40 percent? James Pethokoukis reports at AEI that
Some 200,000 have left the state of 6.7 million. What’s been the economic and fiscal impact?

The Arizona government has spent $350 million less a year on schooling the kids of noncitizens, $60 million less on ER spending, and $20 million less on incarcerations.

However,
Harvard economist Lawrence Katz who finds increased immigration has been “at most a small contributor to rising inequality among pre-existing U.S. residents and to poor income growth for low and moderate-income people.” He cites “technological change, educational deficiencies, global trade and the decline of unions” as having greater effect.
Read more here.

"New Hampshire is a good state for a liberal Republican"

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What Trump and Sanders have in common

Ben Shapiro writes at the Daily Wire,
On the surface, there’s not much in common between New Hampshire GOP primary winner Donald Trump and Democratic primary winner Bernie Sanders. Trump is a billionaire businessman; Sanders is a career politician. Trump’s personal favorability is the lowest of all candidates on either side; Sanders’ is the highest. But the impulse that drove New Hampshire voters to the polls for Sanders is the same as the impulse that drove them to the polls for Trump: the desire for a powerful authority figure to fix everything using the power of government.

...They’re both anti-establishment candidates who bash Wall Street. Here’s Trump from his victory speech last night:

It’s special interests’ money, and this is on both sides. This is on the Republican side, the Democrat side, money just pouring into commercials. These are special interests, folks. These are lobbyists. These are people that don’t necessarily love our country. They don’t have the best interests of the country at heart.

Here’s Sanders from his victory speech last night:

We have sent a message that will echo from Wall Street to Washington, from Maine to California, and that is that the government of our great country belongs to all of the people and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors, and their Super PACs.

...rump and Sanders are on the same page on trade, which they see as a zero sum game at which America is losing. Sanders has described trade with China as “catastrophic” for our economy. Days ago, Trump admitted that he and Sanders mirror each other on the topic: “The one thing we very much agree on is trade. We both agree that we are getting ripped off by China, by Japan, by Mexico, everyone we do business with.”

Both Trump and Sanders want to do away with Obamacare in favor of a more universal system.

...Both Sanders and Trump vow to enshrine programs like Medicare and Social Security. Here’s Trump last year:

I'm not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I'm not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.

Here’s Sanders last night:

No, we will not allow huge tax breaks for billionaires, we will not allow packed — huge cuts to social security, veterans needs, Medicare, MedicAid, and education.

...And while Trump has run on the basis of a uniquely strict anti-illegal immigration policy, Sanders has historically opposed illegal immigration on the basis of driving down American wages.

...On foreign policy, too, Trump and Sanders sound alike.

...So why are Trump and Sanders soaring? Because they both represent a reaction to the corruption and entitlement culture of Washington D.C. – and both of those reactions are anti-democratic. Neither candidate ever talks about the proper role of government. They just talk about how they’ll increase its power to use it for their own purposes.

...Every four years we now pick our dictator. It’s just a question of whether that dictator does the stuff you want, or whether you’re his target.
Read more here.

A person, or a collection of cells?

This is our son, our daughter, our baby!

Protecting the establishment

Establishment? The Democrats have one, too! Bernie Sanders received 151,584 votes in New Hampshire yesterday. Hillary Clinton received 95,252. However, each got 15 delegates to the Democratic convention? How? Something called superdelegates. It is a way the establishment assures its favored candidates stay in the game. Republicans do it, too.

Freeing up a song


Joe Mullin writes at ars technica,
The public will soon be free to sing the world's most famous song.

Music publisher Warner/Chappell will no longer be allowed to collect licensing royalties on those who sing "Happy Birthday" in public and will pay back $14 million to those who have paid for licensing in the past, according to court settlement papers filed late Monday night.

The settlement is a result of a lawsuit originally filed in 2013 by filmmaker Jennifer Nelson, who challenged the "Happy Birthday" copyright. "Happy Birthday" has the same melody as "Good Morning to You," a children's song dating to the 19th Century. But despite the song's murky early history, music publisher Warner/Chappell has stuck to its story that the song was copyrighted in 1935, and a royalty had to be paid for any public use of it—until now.
Read more here.

Let the pandering begin!


So what is the first thing Bernie Sanders does this morning after his New Hampshire victory? He meets with racist Al Sharpton in Harlem to try to figure out how to woo black voters in South Carolina! It is going to be comical to watch Sanders and Clinton pander to blacks in South Carolina. So do you think Hillary will revive her southern black accent?

GOP race goes South

I would think that Ted Cruz is feeling good about his third place finish in New Hampshire. Did you know that he spent just $600,000 there, compared to the $36,000,000 spent by Jeb Bush and $15,000,000 spent by Marco Rubio?

Will Bush and Rubio now go after each other in a South Carolina bloodbath? If Rubio knocks out Bush, who will take on Donald Trump?

I will miss Christie, Paul, and Fiorina in the next debates.

Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina drop out

News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch tweeted that "Suicide bomber Chris Christie damages victim while blowing himself up." Christie and Carly Fiorina have both dropped out of the GOP race.

Of course, Murdoch's remarks referred to the way Christie ridiculed Marco Rubio in Saturday night's debate.

Did New Hampshire go for two socialists?

Edmund Wright writes at the American Thinker that last night two socialists won in New Hampshire. We know that is true for Bernie Sanders, but is it also true for Donald Trump? Wright makes the argument here.

Do not reward bad behavior!

Who is screening the screeners?

Michelle Malkin writes about inside jobs involving airport security screeners and terrorists.

On to South Carolina

Ann Althouse writes,
The narrative of the primary season proceeds from ethanol, to heroin addiction, to black people. Are black people pleased to find themselves the subject of the week or is this irksome?

Annie Karni writes in Politico,
Both Hillary and Bill Clinton knew she would lose here — but not by this much.
Now, after a drubbing so serious as to call into question every aspect of her campaign from her data operation to her message, the wounded front-runner and her allies are actively preparing to retool their campaign, according to Clinton allies.

Staffing and strategy will be reassessed. The message, which so spectacularly failed in New Hampshire, where she was trailing by 21 points when she appeared before her supporters to concede to Bernie Sanders, is also going to be reworked – with race at the center of it.

Clinton is set to campaign with the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, unarmed African-Americans who died in incidents involving a neighborhood watch representative and law enforcement officers, respectively. And the campaign, sources said, is expected to push a new focus on systematic racism, criminal justice reform, voting rights and gun violence that will mitigate concerns about her lack of an inspirational message.

“The gun message went silent in New Hampshire,” remarked one ally close to the campaign. “Guns will come back in a strong way.” She is expected to highlight the problem of gun violence as the leading cause of death among African-American men as she campaigns in South Carolina on Friday.
Read more here.


Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/hillary-clinton-new-hampshire-african-americans-219039#ixzz3znJMHfP0

Karma's a bitch

Chris Christie has failed to make the cut for the South Carolina debate. Read more here.

Is Calderon working for Trump?

Monica Showwalter writes at Investors.com,
Last week, Mexico’s central bank reported that for the first time since statistics have been kept, the $24.8 billion in immigrant remittances received have surpassed Mexico’s $23.4 billion in oil earnings, meaning that the government of Mexico is more dependent than ever on the earnings of maids and gardeners in the U.S. to keep itself afloat.
Read more here, as Showalter advances the theory that former Mexican President Felipe Calderon may actually be working for Trump!

Jihad in America

Karin McQuillan reports at American Thinker,
The French are raiding mosques and not liking what they are finding: hundreds of war-grade weapons, and large quantities of Kalashnikov ammunition.

French Interior Minister Cazeneuve reported, "In 15 days we have seized one third of the quantity of war-grade weapons that are normally seized in a year."

The liaison between French imams and the French government has told Aljazeera “according to official figures and our discussions with the interior ministry, between 100 and 160 mosques will be closed.”

France has 2,600 mosques. In addition, 2,235 Muslim businesses and homes have been searched. There have been 232 arrests.

Meanwhile, in America, we are being mercilessly lectured to by the Democratic Party that questioning the importation of citizens from a jihadi culture is racist.

How do the Republican candidates approach this threat? Trump is calling for a moratorium on all Muslim immigrants. Senator Cruz has introduced legislation designating the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization (which would enable us to deal with many jihadi front groups in America); introduced the Terrorist Refugee Infiltration Prevention Act of 2015, to bar refugees from countries with substantial territory controlled by a foreign terrorist organization; legislation to allow state governors the power to bar refugees from their states; and twice introduced the Expatriate Terrorist Act, which bars Americans who join ISIS or other terrorist groups from re-entering the country. Rubio voted against the Musim immigration moratorium bill and has no proposals to limit jihadi refugees. His Gang of Eight bill would have allowed unlimited Islamic immigrants.

...The problem of jihad in American mosques has been known for decades. Jihad in America has been spreading and now corrupts many public institutions, especially targeting our children. Enormous quantities of money are flowing into American universities, textbook companies, and elementary schools, as well as most mosques, to provide teachers, imams and texts that support the jihadi version of history and teach hate of the infidel. Much of the money is from our ally, Saudi Arabia, so nothing is done.
Read more here.

Why is Ted Cruz disliked in D.C.?

Dave Blount gives some examples at Moonbattery:
Donald Trump is unelectable because he is disliked by a large majority of the American population. In contrast,

The biggest attack on Ted Cruz lodged by his detractors is that he is loathed inside Washington, especially in the Senate.

We know why Trump is disliked by the American public: he is a shallow, unprincipled, insincere, obnoxious, egomaniacal jackass. Here is an example of why Cruz is disliked by Beltway pols:
Daniel Horowitz reports at Conservative Review,

Despite being embroiled in the heat of the most important weeks of this presidential campaign, Cruz sent word to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he was placing a hold on all State Department nominees until Obama comes clean on the Iran deal. Consequently, McConnell was obliged to block the unanimous consent request from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to confirm Obama’s choices for ambassadorships to Norway and Sweden. Cruz has placed a blockade on all State Department nominees and has been enforcing it throughout the past few months.

...In the case of the Iran deal, Republicans passed the Corker-Cardin bill signing off on it and then declined to defund it in the budget bill. The only tool left in the Article I arsenal of Congress is to hold up confirmation of executive and judicial nominees. Unfortunately, the other senators refused to join Cruz in enforcing the blockade and extracting concessions from Obama after he violated the conditions of his own deal. And that’s the way they like it. Unlike Cruz, they want to be respected, smart, serious, and productive conservatives. “Productive” in the sense that their principles are never actually converted into action — at least not enough to derail liberal policies in a meaningful way.

...There are those in the conservative intelligentsia who say they personally like Ted Cruz but desire a nominee who will push conservatism in a way that does not elicit such hatred from others in Washington. These people need to learn there is no such thing as lukewarm hell. Modern-day Democrats are not willing to compromise on anything. As such, the only way to move forward and restore our republic is with brute force, harnessing the power of the outside against the inside, not working with the insiders who got us into this mess in the first place.
Read more hereand here.

The power of the visual

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

"That doesn't make any sense at all!"


Ted Cruz disagrees with Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie on the idea of requiring women to register with the Selective Service. Katie Glueck reports in Politico,
“I have to admit, as I was sitting there listening to that conversation, my reaction was, ‘Are you guys nuts?’” Cruz said Sunday, speaking at a town hall here. “Listen, we have had enough with political correctness, especially in the military. Political correctness is dangerous. And the idea that we would draft our daughters to forcibly bring them into the military and put them in close combat, I think is wrong, it is immoral, and if I am president, we ain’t doing it.”

To applause, Cruz went on to note that he is a father to two daughters, and he wants them to follow their dreams.
“But the idea that their government would forcibly put them in a foxhole with a 220-pound psychopath trying to kill them doesn’t make any sense at all,” he said.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/blogs/new-hampshire-primary-2016-live-updates/2016/02/ted-cruz-women-military-draft-new-hampshire-218910#ixzz3zjxJIz7O
Read more here.

Peter, Paul, and Mary? Not!

Best thing about running for president? "The people you meet"

That quote will stay with him


John Kasich, appealing to Democrats who can vote for Republicans in New Hampshire, explained to a voter, "I'm a good middle ground between Sanders and Clinton."

1000 days...and counting

Beautiful Dana Loesch interviews Instapundit Glenn Reynolds about the IRS scandal.

New Ted Cruz ad

Good. Cruz comes after Trump. I approve this message.

Trump and Sanders win New Hampshire



Who voted? CBS News has an interesting graphic on that.

Ted Cruz is more popular with people over 45 than with people under 45. Right now he is in third place behind Kasich and just ahead of Bush. Rubio is in fifth place, so he was hurt by Christie in Saturday's debate, although Christie is in sixth place.

Big news at the Supreme Court today

Michael Biesecker and Sam Hananel report for Associated Press this breaking story:
A divided Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to halt enforcement of President Barack Obama's sweeping plan to address climate change until after legal challenges are resolved.

The surprising move is a blow to the administration and a victory for the coalition of 27 mostly Republican-led states and industry opponents that call the regulations "an unprecedented power grab."

By issuing the temporary freeze, a 5-4 majority of the justices signaled that opponents made strong arguments against the rules. The high court's four liberal justices — Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — said Tuesday they would have denied the request for delay.

Just one more reason to elect a constitutional conservative, who will get to appoint some new Supreme Court justices!

Who won this debate?



h/t Ace of Spades

Feeling safer now?

Rowan Scarborough reports in the Washington Times,
The Pentagon is ordering the top brass to incorporate climate change into virtually everything they do, from testing weapons to training troops to war planning to joint exercises with allies.

A new directive’s theme: The U.S. Armed Forces must show “resilience” and beat back the threat based on “actionable science.”

It says the military will not be able to maintain effectiveness unless the directive is followed. It orders the establishment of a new layer of bureaucracy — a wide array of “climate change boards, councils and working groups” to infuse climate change into “programs, plans and policies.”

In response to which, Elizabeth Price Foley at Instapundit posts this cartoon by Rick McKee:

Telling you what you want to hear

Weirddave at Ace of Spades is an insurance agent. He wrote this about his profession:
When I started in this industry, my mentor told me “You can be a salesman chasing a commission check, and you'll burn out in a couple of years and wind up hawking used cars off a lot down in Dundalk, or you can be a financial professional focused on your client's needs and have a rewarding lifelong career and oh yea, make a lot of money”. You know what? He was right. But still, through the years, the salesmen, always the salesmen. They troop in and troop out, toiling in the salt mines for a day, a week, a year, but rarely for longer than that. Some of them are nice guys. Some of them are trustworthy. All of them, however, have their focus on what the client can do for them, usually money wise, and all of them utilize some variation of the pander. There's a very fine line between pandering and sincerity that I have gotten very, very good at spotting because it often makes the difference between a successful agent and a mediocre or poor one.

This really hit home with me, because my father was a successful insurance agent, working in rural Iowa. He was successful because he sincerely wanted to make sure his product was the right one for his clients.

Weirddave continues,
When I view the three top Republican candidates for president through the lens of my job as a professional trainer, it's easy to pick up the pander.

Trump is easy. Bold, brash, bowling you over with the force of his personality. He makes you want to believe him. Trump! Fuck yeah! In a 4 week election cycle, he would have been unstoppable. Trump's problem is that since his schtick is telling you what you want to hear, over time he contradicts himself. The longer the campaign goes on, the thinner his act wears and the more obvious it becomes to anyone who is actually listening to him that he'll say anything that he thinks will benefit him at that moment, then say the opposite an hour later. He has no ethics. I wouldn't even hire him for the type of work I do. He's strictly used car salesman, not long-term relationship sales.

Rubio is a little different. Good looking, reasonably well spoken, seemingly sincere. Rubio's problem is that he doesn't really believe in what he's selling. His solutions are ultimately facile. He doesn't want to discuss in detail, so he misdirects. An example(paraphrasing things Rubio has said. These are not his direct words, this is just an example of HOW he does it):

Amnesty? No, he's not for amnesty now, because there are several more important things that we have to do first, for example ISIS is now a much greater threat. We have to secure the border to protect ourselves from terrorists. Wouldn't you agree that terrorists are a much greater threat? You would? Good, here's what I'm going to do about them.

Now, terrorists may or may not be a threat, but notice what happened there. He disavowed amnesty...or did he? He actually didn't. He said there were things to do first. He didn't say that amnesty wouldn't come later. He misdirected to border security as it pertains to ISIS. An important topic, to be sure, but not the one at hand. He's trying to “close the sale” (get your vote) without pinning down specifics. I strongly suspect that that is because he doesn't want to commit himself. If history is any judge, once he gets the vote he'll then be free to do whatever he wants, and what he wants (or what the money behind him wants), is amnesty. Just so you don't realize that NOW.

I originally thought Cruz was the worst of the lot. When this campaign started, he struck me as nothing so much as a revival tent preacher or a televangelist. Now those are some skeevy people who exist solely to con people (with one or two very rare exceptions). What I came to realize, however, is that Ted Cruz' problem is that he is sincere in what he is saying, but in trying too hard to convey that genuine sincerity through his vocal inflections he wound up emulating a universally reviled class of people who are past masters of using vocal intonations to project fake sincerity. Thankfully he's gotten a lot better, he must have had some vocal coaching in the last year. He's not perfect yet, but if it hadn't have been so pronounced before I'd have a harder time picking up on the remnants of it now. As to whether he actually means what he says, well, I found this clip to be telling:


That is the opposite of pandering. Leaving aside the policy arguments of ethanol, Cruz didn't back away from or misdirect the question. He confronted it head on, acknowledged it, and then countered it. You may or may not agree with his counter-argument, but he isn't running away from his position.

It's actually rather nice to see a politician act like he believes in what he says.
Read more here.

"Scandal-free" Obama sent 18 emails to Hillary's secret, illegal email system

Jim Geraghty writes in National Review about a few of the Obama administration scandals:
Fast and Furious. The IRS scandal. The $2 billion spent building Healthcare.gov. The Veterans Administration letting veterans die waiting for care. The Office of Personnel Management hacking. Lying about Bowe Berghdahl. “Companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter, more prosperous future.”

Jonathan Gruber’s declaration that Obamacare depended upon the “stupidity of American voter.” The NSA and Edward Snowden. The stimulus “was riddled with a massive labor scheme that harmed workers and cheated unsuspecting American taxpayers.” Prostitution and incompetence in the U.S. Secret Service.​ Hillary and her private e-mail server. The Department of Justice secretly reviewed the phone records of at least 20 phone lines of Associated Press reporters — their work, home, and cell-phone lines. The Department of Justice’s decision to call Fox News reporter James Rosen a criminal “co-conspirator” in leaking classified information. The Department of Justice punishing whistleblowers. Benghazi — the failure to provide Chris Stephens with the security he requested, the inability to put together a rescue operation that night, and the false explanation to the public afterwards blaming a video.

Read more here.

Ace of Spades
adds,
Now, with Obama having sent 18 emails to Hillary's secret, illegal email system, thus exposing himself as having lied, yet again, when he claimed, yet again, to have learned about the system when you did, from the papers...

Ace commenter Zombie writes,
This isn't because Obama hasn't committed daily treason and innumerable outrages against common sense, legality and the nation's well-being; it's because a "scandal" is a multi-pronged concept that involves the cooperation of the media and "opposition" politicians.

In other words: No matter what outrageous malfeasances Obama commits on a daily basis, none of them rise to the level of "scandal" unless the media deems it as such and/or unless the opponents in government pursue fruitful official investigations.

Since the MSM is Obama's lap-dog, and the GOPe are toothless losers, Obama commits crimes against the nation all the time, and yet is in factual reality "scandal-free."

Unaffordability, rental serfs, fading American dream

Joel Kotkin writes in Daily Beast,
There’s little argument that inequality, and the depressed prospects for the middle class, will be a dominant issue this year’s election. Yet the most powerful force shaping this reality — the rising cost of housing — has barely emerged as political issue.

...Driven in part by potential buyers being forced into the apartment market, rents have risen to a point that they now compose the largest share of income in modern U.S. history. Since 1990, renters’ income has been stagnant, while inflation-adjusted rents have soared 14.7 percent. Given the large shortfall in housing production—down not only since the 2007 recession but also by almost a quarter between 2011 and 2015—the trend toward ever higher prices and greater levels of unaffordability seems all but inevitable.

...Real estate inflation is redefining American politics and could eventually transform the nature of our society. In the dense, increasingly “kiddie-free zones” around our Central Business Districts (CBDs), according to 2011 Census figures, children between ages 5 and 14 constituted about 7 percent of the population, less than half the level seen in newer suburbs and exurbs. The common habitués of these high-cost, high-density urban areas—singles and childless couples—have emerged, according to Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg, as key elements of the progressive coalition.

...In contrast, familial America clusters largely in newer suburbs and exurbs, and increasingly in the lower-cost cities in the South, the Intermountain West, and especially in Texas. Overall—and contrary to the bold predictions of many urbanists—suburban areas are once again, after a brief slowdown, growing faster than the urban cores.

America remains a suburban nation. Overall, 44 million Americans live in the core cities of America’s 51 major metropolitan areas, while nearly 122 million Americans live in the suburbs. And this does not include the more than half of the core city population that live in districts, particularly in the Sunbelt, that are functionally suburban or exurban, with low density and high automobile use.

...The decline in property ownership threatens to turn much of the middle class into a class of rental serfs, effectively wiping out the social gains of the past half-century.

...But increasingly the worst influence on housing stems from the proclivities of contemporary progressivism. Whereas earlier Democratic presidents, from Roosevelt and Truman to Johnson and Clinton, strongly supported suburban single-family growth, contemporary progressives display an almost cultish bias toward the very dense, urban environment. The fact that perhaps at most 10 to 20 percent of Americans prefer this option almost guarantees that this approach would be unacceptable to the vast majority.

...Following our current path, we can expect our society—particularly in deep blue states—to move ever more toward a kind of feudalism where only a few own property while everyone else devolves into rent serfs. The middle class will have little chance to acquire any assets for their retirement and increasingly few will choose to have children. Imagine, then, a high-tech Middle Ages with vast chasms between the upper classes and the poor, with growing dependence—even among what once would have been middle-class households—on handouts to pay rent. Imagine too, over time, Japanese-style depopulation and an ever more rapidly aging society.

Yet none of this is necessary. This is not a small country with limited land and meager prospects. A bold new approach to housing, including the reform of out of control regulations, could restore the fading American dream for tens of millions of families. It would provide the basis for a greater spread of assets and perhaps a less divided—and less angry—country. Rather than waste their time on symbolic issues or serving their financial overlords, candidates in both parties need to address policies that are now undermining the very basis of middle-class democracy.

Contradictions of the racial spoils system

Victor Davis Hanson writes at National Review about the racial spoils system.
The racial spoils industry survives on several requisites. One, Americans must be readily identifiable as being non-white or white. Two, once non-white claimants pass the racial litmus test, they must think and speak in a particular progressive manner, in dutiful obeisance to those who set up and perpetuate the racial spoils system. And three, racialism must remain defined as a one-way bias.

Much of the liberal press has ridiculed Rubio and Cruz, either because their appearances and Cuban ancestry do not quite make them authentic “Latinos” or “Hispanics,” or because their conservative politics disqualify them as deserving minorities and instead make them seem ungrateful to their liberal benefactors. In this unhinged way of thinking, a quite dark Clarence Thomas, who grew up destitute in the old Jim Crow South, is not as authentic an African-American as Barack Obama, who is of half-Kenyan ancestry and was raised by his upper-middle-class white grandparents and schooled at Honolulu’s most exclusive prep school. Make Obama right-wing and Thomas left-wing, and journalists would question Obama about everything from his prep school to his name change at age ten.

...As a general rule, the more exotic the name, and the less white and less American it sounds, the more one’s career is aided. Certainly, a prep-school kid called Barry Dunham or even Barry Soetero would not have the career trajectory of Barack Hussein Obama. A Barry cannot claim to be the victim of American nativist prejudice; a Barack can.

But even nomenclature goes only so far. One can lose even specially crafted minority profiles by the wrong politics. Were Obama to have a political revelation and turn conservative, his half-black status and exotic Middle Eastern/African names would be the stuff of ridicule. He would suffer the fate of a Ted Cruz or a Marco Rubio and be branded as a sellout opportunist — in a way that he currently is not, despite all the time spent on tony golf courses, Martha’s Vineyard vacations, and Hawaiian junkets, and despite the Goldman Sachs campaign gifts.

...Wealthy white liberal America, the engine that drives racialization, usually does not live, go to school, or engage in leisure activities among those minorities it selects for racial advantages.

...It is fair game to slander Ted Cruz as an inauthentic Latino, while the Left believes that Barack Obama, of equally half-minority status, is a trailblazing minority candidate. The media quiz Cruz on his Spanish-speaking ability, while they would not the non-Spanish-speaking Julian Castro, the current liberal heartthrob.

...Sexist attacks on Bristol Palin are hip, but not so questions about how Chelsea Clinton somehow became worth $15 million.

The termite-ridden foundations of the racial-spoils temple are crumbling, as they have dissolved earlier in our 19th- and early-20th-century past. Soon the entire rotten edifice will collapse under the weight of its own inherent contradictions and illiberal prejudices.

Read more here.

Pyramid schemes, entitlement, and Social Security

Thomas Sowell writes in National Review about pyramid schemes, entitlements, and Social Security.

A celebration in Denver


I am watching a sea of orange. Maybe a million people have gathered under a bright Colorado sun with nothing but blue sky overhead.


The parade of Broncos has culminated at Civic Center park, where the members of the Denver Broncos football team are gathered on stage. "We are the champions" was sung, then the national anthem. I have plenty of time to write this now because I have turned off the volume as the mayor and governor tell us how wonderful they are.



Peyton Manning congratulates beloved defensive coach Wade Phillips as they come out on the stage.


Hundreds of thousands of fans lined the streets of downtown Denver. People were in high spirits of celebration. Children were allowed up in the front of the lines, as people were kind to each other.


John Elway is being interviewed by former NFL great Dave Logan, who is the radio voice of the Broncos on KOA radio. Either one of those guys could be elected governor in a breeze. Now the microphone has been passed to Coach Kubiak. Now I will turn the volume back on as MVP Von Miller is interviewed by Logan. Von is asked by Logan about DeMarcus Ware. Miller said, "He's the man!"


Now Ware and Manning, the defensive and offensive captains get the mike. Ware saluted the fans, and saluted the team effort. Manning, the offensive captain, also saluted the fans and the fact that guys worked hard all year.

Now the mike has been passed back to the politicians, so I will turn the volume back off and end this blog post.

Spheres of radicalization

Enabling ISIS

Frank Gaffney writes here about the Southern Poverty Law Center's smear against the Center for Security Policy.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Two quarterbacks, two Superbowls

2016


2014

The league's two superlative defensive teams gave the world a defensive game.

To get the best sports writing about Denver teams, for years I have been relying on Woody Paige at the Denver Post.

Trump: Pragmatic Nationalism, Cruz: Traditional Constitutionalism, Rubio: Idealist Internationalism

How have the three leading Republican candidates responded to the idea of American exceptionalism? John Zmirak writes at The Stream,
Pragmatic Nationalism
Donald Trump has adopted this view, which asserts that national cohesion and solidarity should override economic efficiency — hence tariff barriers and other protectionist measures. It concentrates on American “greatness” in terms of economic muscle, military preparedness and assertiveness on behalf of American interests abroad. It pays scant regard to Constitutional niceties like the Separation of Powers or civil liberties, property rights (see eminent domain) or the dictates of just war teaching — much less the international law that grew out of such Christian roots. Hence Trump’s willingness to kill off the family members of terrorists, something which even embattled Israel, under much greater provocation, has never come close to doing. On this view, America is exceptional because it is big and powerful enough to exempt itself from the rules that bind other countries. For historic parallels, see Aaron Burr, Andrew Jackson.

Traditional Constitutionalism
This worldview, which used to be called more simply “conservatism,” is most clearly represented by Ted Cruz — a man who is ready with a detailed Constitutional justification of his position on any given issue. For him, the U.S. founding was a providential event, and it documents a kind of secular scripture, which we as citizens must revere as the source of our national self-esteem.

Cruz’s economics are more conventionally free market, convinced as he is by the arguments which conservatives have been making since roughly 1932 against the expansion of state control over citizens’ economic and personal lives.

Cruz’s foreign policy is not blatantly amoral like Trump’s, but his vision of what America can achieve is distinctly tinged by an Augustinian sense that we, too are fallen, and sharply limited in what we can achieve in foreign countries with profoundly alien cultures.

On immigration, Cruz seems more outraged by the blatant disregard for law than he is worried by cultural displacement. However, Cruz sees how the growth of government, and disregard for the Constitution (among other key American traditions) is goaded by mass immigration of low-skilled people from countries without our civic heritage, so he seems willing to pare back legal immigration as well. Given forty years of flat wage growth among less-skilled American workers, and the prominence of Muslims whose deepest religious tenets are anti-Constitutional, Cruz’s position here has significant policy overlap with Trump’s, though the reasons underlying it are different.

For this school of thought, America is exceptional because the civic culture that gave it birth was exceptionally compatible with human flourishing. Not every culture on earth, in foreign nations or among potential immigrants, is compatible with our civics. Historic parallels: William Howard Taft, Calvin Coolidge.

Idealist Internationalism
With the fall of Communism and the rise of Islamic jihad, prominent thinkers of the center-right and center-left converged to agree on various forms of this theory as the proper approach to combating Islamist extremism, though they didn’t always agree on how it should be implemented effectively (e.g., the war in Iraq). As Stephen Bannon and Alexander Marlow argue, this theory also has strong implications for immigration policy:

[I]f the issue is saving the world — and it always is — then part of the save-the-world plan means accommodating, and welcoming, refugee flows.

Yes, refugees from Somalia, Syria, anywhere — they all must come here, so that the US can “show leadership.” That is, we must take immigrants by the thousands, even millions, as a way of pointing other countries, as well, to the virtuous path. … Thus it should come as no surprise that National Review’s Johnson reports that one of Rubio’s mentors is former Bush 43 national-security adviser Stephen Hadley. In the White House, Hadley was a champion of open borders, and just recently, he signed a letter with 19 other foreign policy savants, from both parties, calling for the US to take in Syrian refugees.
While Rubio has backed away from the large-scale expansion of low-skill immigrants that was part of his Gang-of-Eight bill, his stance on immigration still bears the stamp of Internationalist optimism about the capacity of America to assimilate migrants from countries with dysfunctional political systems and unfree civic cultures. On this view, America itself is seen as a transformative force, whose philosophical integrity and dynamism renders it almost immune from being itself transformed, by the ideas and habits which large numbers of immigrants bring with them. That’s why Rubio has said that America should welcome Syrian refugees, if it were possible to vet them for current terrorist ties (which he thinks isn’t possible now). A Jackson or a Coolidge would question the wisdom of accepting many thousands of Muslims, with or without terrorist connections.

Here Senator Rubio’s call to unseat Syria’s president Assad is instructive. For the U.S. to cooperate with or even tolerate dictators such as Syria’s Assad (as a lesser evil than the rise of Islamists who might persecute Christians) is for us to admit defeat of our ideals, to surrender our national mission and plunge into moral relativism — suggesting that liberty is only available to certain countries and cultures, especially those with a Christian, or even an Anglo-Protestant heritage. Historical parallels: Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, George W. Bush.

Of course, on this historical side of the wars in Iraq, Libya and Syria, the nation-building aspirations of most American policymakers have been tempered to one degree or another. None of the three candidates will speak as President Bush spoke before the Iraq War. And all now avoid direct talk of amnesty and recognize the dangers of Muslim refugees. But the deep differences of world view remain, and they will matter. It will be up to conservative media to make sure that these philosophical differences are discussed with sufficient nuance that voters can decide among them wisely.
Read more here:

Why are Rubio and Cruz the only ones who are saying Obama is competently achieving his goals to transform America?

Rush Limbaugh shined his truth detector on Cruz, Rubio, and Christie today, and, as always came away with a very different perspective about the attacks on Rubio leveled by Chris Christie in Saturday night's debate in New Hampshire.
On the Republican side, what do you think the most talked about aspect of the Republican debate Saturday night is? Without question it is the exchanges between Governor Christie and Senator Rubio, and Senator Rubio's repeated contention that Barack Obama is not incompetent, that he's not bumbling around and screwing things up accidentally. That instead what Obama is doing is explicit, by design, and on purpose.

...There are only two people that I'm aware of that are making a consistent point of this. Rubio, actually, is atop of this. Rubio and Cruz are the only two in the entire Republican field. Carly Fiorina may have said something like this occasionally. With Rubio, it's a theme. With Cruz, it's close to a theme. And the real question is: Why do the other Republicans in the field disagree?

...The governors will not admit who Obama is. The governors will not admit it, and Trump does not agree that Obama is purposely doing this. Trump thinks he's a blithering incompetent.

...Ted Cruz had a great night, and the evidence of that is that nobody wanted to talk about it. If Ted Cruz had had a bad night, folks, you would still be hearing about it, everywhere. CNN, MSNBC, Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS.

...What do you think you're gonna get when you have ABC host a debate? Stop complaining! If you're gonna make the decision to go there you have to realize that Martha Raddatz wants Hillary Clinton to be elected and Hillary Clinton's weakness is foreign policy. Ted Cruz comes along and happens to run rings around Hillary or anybody else in foreign policy. She's gonna try to take him out, and she's not gonna show any respect at all.

...Now, folks, you go out and talk to actual Republican primary voters. You go out, outside of Washington, outside New York, go out to where these primaries and caucuses are being held, and you will find that this is exactly what has propelled Republicans to the polls in droves in 2010 and 2014. It's not the belief, it's not the theory, it is the knowledge that Obama's doing this on purpose, and there isn't and hasn't been any push-back. And Republican voters are livid. Obama has said he's doing it on purpose. He has said his purpose is to transform the nation.

... They do not dare say that Obama's doing it on purpose because they have all worked with Barack Obama, in one way or another, every one of these governors, many of them, and even a lot of Republicans in the House and Senate have worked with Obama to advance certain elements of the agenda.

We've worked with Obama on the spending bills. We have worked with Obama, or we want to, on amnesty and immigration. There are some on the Republican side who want to work with Obama when it comes to issues on the so-called War on Women. But when you have worked with Obama, when you have asked Obama to come to your state, and when you have embraced Obama and done everything you can to get assistance from Obama, well, you can't turn around and then say Obama is purposefully trying to transform the country 'cause that makes you look like an idiot.

...I think the real important question here to ask and answer is why won't anybody but Rubio and Cruz say it? Because that's essentially, if you had to encapsulate what the Republican primary is, it's about that. Like they keep harping on, Christie -- or it might have been Trump, I don't know who it was -- jumped on Rubio, maybe it was a moderator in the post-debate analysis. Why does he keep campaigning against Obama? Obama's not on the ballot. Obama's seven years old. Obama's in his last year. Why does he keep running against Obama?

Because Hillary and Bernie Sanders want to continue what Obama has started, and it is the transformation of America. The Republican base is fully aware of it. The Republican primary voters have been begging the Republican Party to stop this since 2010, since 2009 when Obama took office.
Read more here.

Millennials prefer a more equitable distribution of (other people’s) wealth

Catherine Rampell writes in the Washington Post about Millenials. They prefer Bernie Sanders and they are the only age group that likes socialism over capitalism.
Both nationwide, and in the early primary states, Bernie Sanders is thoroughly trouncing Clinton among the under-30 set.

In the Iowa caucuses alone, Sanders beat Clinton 84 percent to 14 percent in this age group, according to entrance polls. That’s a 70-point margin. Just for reference, note that in 2008, in the very same state, among the very same demographic, Barack Obama bested Clinton by “only” 46 points. And Obama was young and cool; Sanders is more of an eccentric-grandpa type.

Why are so many young’uns feeling the Bern?

I see two main reasons.

The first is that, to millennials, Sanders’s socialism is a feature, not a bug.

Much of the current conversation about Sanders’s “democratic socialism” is predicated on whether Americans can look past this supposedly toxic label. But millennials love Sanders not despite his socialism, but because of it.

“Socialism” has never been a dirty word for the current cohort of youth, who either didn’t live through the Cold War or don’t remember it. We are more likely to associate socialism with prosperous, egalitarian, relatively well-functioning Scandinavian states — the kinds of places that produce awesome things like Ikea and “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” — than with autocrats who starve their people.

Many of us also entered the job market just as unbridled capitalism appeared to blow up the world economy.

Perhaps for this reason, millennials actually seem to prefer socialism to capitalism.

In a recent YouGov survey, 43 percent of respondents under age 30 said they had a favorable opinion of socialism, while just 32 percent said the same about capitalism. Among all ages, races, geographic regions, genders, party affiliations and income levels, millennials were the only demographic that held socialism in higher regard than capitalism.

It’s not just Sanders’s socialist label that sells; it’s his socialist ideas, too.

To a generation that’s broke, in debt, underemployed and stuck in its parents’ basements, promises of a political revolution, more equitable distribution of (other people’s) wealth, a more robust social safety net and free college can sound pretty appealing.
Read more here and here.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Do you have any doubt he means what he says?

"There it is!"

The memorized 25 second speech! (and the fight for third place)



Ace of Spades writes this about Rubio:
He'll have to do a bit of work to overcome this. Maybe he'll have to try to prepare less, so he we can see his mind actually engaging with a question, instead of just locating the most relevant "module" to repeat.

...But who knows, if the bubble boy can finally get out of the bubble and show something real, or something more substantial than 25-seconds of micro-wonk modules, maybe he can get back on track and be the Establishment's Great Last Hope again.
Read more here.

"Poor me, I'm a victim"

I am very disappointed that Ben Carson has chosen to play the victim card. I thought he was above that. He is taking no responsibility for having been out-organized in Iowa. If there is one thing black Americans need more than anything else, it is for other black Americans seeking leadership positions to avoid playing the "poor me, I'm a victim" card.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Pandering flip-flopper

Want to hear a total flip-flop? Here is Donald Trump six days ago on CBS's Face the Nation as reported by Trent Baker in Breitbart:
On CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, GOP front-runner made his pick for this weekend’s Super Bowl, taking the Denver Broncos over the favorite Carolina Panthers.

Trump said he knows the Panthers are the hotter team and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is “doing great,” but he is sticking with his friend and “very good guy” Peyton Manning, leader of the Broncos.

“I very much have always liked Peyton Manning,” Trump said. “He’s a very good guy. I know him. So I have to go with the person who I know and I like.”

Tonight at the end of the New Hampshire debate, each candidate was asked to predict the winner of tomorrow's Super Bowl. Trump answered in one word, "Carolina."

You don't suppose that prediction had anything to do with the fact that the Carolina primary comes up on Saturday, February 20? Trump is learning fast how to out-pander all the other politicians. Remember how he went into Iowa and decided to be the champion of Ethanol subsidies?

h/t Craig Silverman

The Carson controversy

Steve Deace gives us the timetable of the Ben Carson story on the night of the Iowa caucus.

Arrogance vs. humility

Kyle Smith writes this in the New York Post about the quarterback matchups in the Super Bowl:
Cam Newton may be the best player in football, but as a man he has a lot of learning to do. He needs to study the virtue called humility.

Newton is a braggart, a showboat and a clown. He says things like, “Hear me out. I’m just saying that so much of my talents have not been seen in one person.” (“Just”!) He does elaborate end-zone dances right in the faces of opposing players. (“If you don’t like it, keep me out of the end zone,” he later said.) Even getting a simple first down inspires him to strike a pose. He named his son “Chosen,” he says, because he didn’t want the kid to carry the awful burden of being known as Cam Newton Jr. Apparently those were the only two options. “Saint” was already taken.

After Sunday’s game, win or lose, a remarkable event will occur in the vicinity of Peyton Manning: Opposing players will line up to shake hands with him. That’s the respect that comes with not only being a legendary player but a good man. Manning never humiliated his opponents, never trash-talked them, never forgot the value of sportsmanship. He is the only player ever to win five MVP awards and the only one to beat Tom Brady three times in the postseason. Yet he never acts like he is The Man because he never forgets that he is a man. No one calls him arrogant.
Read more here.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Joyous!

Did you know that Hannibal Lector also composed music? Beautiful, joyous. I love how Anthony Hopkins, his wife, and daughter share in the joy and love of Anthony's composition.


h/t Gini McGrath

Face to face, eye to eye, up close and personal

Level playing field, eliminate subsidies, so government does not pick winners and losers! Face to face, Cruz looks an Iowan in the eye and explains why he does not want Iowans dependent on the government. Iowans like people who look them in the eye. Fighting for a fair and open energy marketplace with a level playing field. Givng his word eye to eye.

"Constitutional Conservatives"

Although I never seem to get the time to listen more than fifteen minutes at a time, usually while driving, on lunch breaks, or preparing meals, I love talk radio. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, and Dana Loesch are my favorites nationally, and I have several local favorites, too. Steve Deace, broadcasting out of Des Moines, with sponsorship by Conservative Review, captured my attention during the lead-up to the Iowa caucuses.

I was a big fan of Glenn Beck in the first decade of this century, then kind of lost interest, because he spent so much time being sarcastic with his two sidekicks. I love bits of sarcasm here and there, but not fifteen minutes non-stop. Lately, though, he has once again impressed me with his eloquence. His emphasis on being a "Constitutional Conservative" resonates with me. He wants conservatives to unite around that banner, using more verbs ("what are you going to do?") and less adjectives in our disputes with fellow conservatives.

Beck opposes the nominations of Donald Trump and Marco Rubio, as does Mark Levin. Levin points out that both Trump and Rubio have histories of working in agreement with the vile Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and "progressive" conservative John McCain. Levin mocks Barack Obama, who claims unemployment is now at 4.9 percent, even though 95 million American adults are unemployed, and a whole lot of us are underemployed.

I admit that this week I detoured to sports radio for analysis of this Sunday's Super Bowl matchups, but next week I will return to my favorites on conservative talk radio.

Litany of non sequiturs

Jonathan Last has been attending speeches by Hillary Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire, which should earn him a hefty raise from the Weekly Standard. He does not think she is a very good candidate.
She has regressed as a candidate, and it's already hurting her. Barring indictment, she'll probably grind her way to the nomination. But already, the Iowa entrance poll numbers portend problems for her down the road. Among voters ages 17 to 29, Sanders beat her by an incredible 84 percent to 14 percent. Among voters 30 to 44, Sanders was only 21 points ahead. It takes a good candidate to turn out voters in the general election who were cool to them in the primaries.
Read the whole thing here, including a video of her speech on caucus night in Iowa.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Trump's integrity

You know I love satirical blogs. I found a new one tonight called Ex Sofadra. They have a picture of a man in a hospital bed, recovering from being shot on Fifth Avenue by Donald Trump.

This is not John’s first encounter with a presidential candidate. The week before, he was courted by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who clubbed him on the back of the head and stole his wallet, and this past Monday, he was kicked in the shins by former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley.

“Bernie, I mean, I have to respect the guy. He didn’t keep my money. Instead he gave it to a homeless guy. O’Malley, though… I didn’t even notice what he was doing until somebody was, like ‘Hey man, some little guy is kicking you’.”

In the end, John thinks that he will probably still vote for Trump. “Nobody else is saying the stuff that needs to be said. He’s going to make America great, again, you know. Plus, he said he was going to shoot somebody and followed through on it. That shows integrity, man.”
Read the whole thing here.

War and peace

At CRB David Goldman writes,
In the decade since President George W. Bush’s 2003 “Mission Accomplished” speech, America has gone from hyperpower to hyperventilater. The Obama Administration and the Republican leadership quibble about the modalities of an illusory two-state solution in Israel, or the best means to make democracy bloom in the Middle East’s deserts, or how vehemently to denounce Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, everything that could go wrong, has. Europe’s frontiers are in play for the first time since the fall of Communism; Russia and China have a new rapprochement; American enemies like Iran have a free hand while traditional American allies in the Sunni world feel betrayed; and China has all but neutralized American sea power within hundreds of miles of its coast.

America’s credibility around the world is weaker than at any time since the Carter Administration. American policy evokes contempt overseas, and even more at home, where the mere suggestion of intervention is ballot box poison, while the Republicans’ isolationist fringe wins straw polls among the party’s core constituents. In 2013 the Pew Survey found 53% of U.S. respondents considered America less important and powerful than a decade earlier, the first time a majority held that view since 1974, just before the fall of Saigon. And four-fifths of respondents told Pew that the U.S. should not think so much in international terms but concentrate on its own problems, the highest proportion to agree with that proposition since the survey began posing it in 1964.

Goldman reviews To Make and Keep Peace: Among Ourselves and with All Nations, by Angelo M. Codevilla. ...Codevilla approves the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a way to hold local rulers responsible for the hostile actions of their subjects, but abhors the ensuing occupation and counterinsurgency campaign, which only “hardened the divisions between this artificial country’s main religious-ethnic groups.” As for “democracy,” he scoffs that “U.S. viceroys spent most of a decade fruitlessly trying to negate the Shias’, Sunnis’, and Kurds’ democratically expressed mutual antagonism.” The much-lauded “surge” “consisted of turning over to Sunni insurgents the tribal areas into which the Shia were pushing them. Rather than defeating them, the U.S. government began arming them.” And the result: “After a bloody decade, Iraq ended up divided along ancient ethno-religious fault lines but more mutually bitter.”

He rejects intervention in the Syrian civil war as such. “It is not clear by what right or to what good we Americans should foster a set of killings, the bounds of which we know not and cannot control, nor, above all, whom that would benefit. Thus Syria’s internal struggle falls under the heading of ‘their business.’” But he laments the lost opportunity to punish Syria after Damascus instigated the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut; our failure to use the 150,000 American troops in Iraq in 2003 to destroy the Bashar al-Assad regime in retaliation for hosting anti-American forces; and the Bush Administration’s 2006 decision to halt Israel’s attack on Hezbollah. These were Syrian acts of war against America, and America should have responded with war. A fortiori, Codevilla argues, America should have made war on Iran in response to the 1979 seizure of American diplomats and other acts of war. The same criterion applies to other Islamic regimes that support terror: “Our business now is forcefully to restore respect for ourselves by holding those rulers responsible. The longer we wait, the more force will be needed.”

After Lincoln’s election, Jefferson Davis offered to stop secession if Lincoln would annex Cuba and other prospective slave territories to the South. I call attention to this episode not to argue details with Codevilla, but rather to broach a broader issue. Slavery trumped matters of principle or sentiment because of a circumstance beyond any American’s control: soil exhaustion by intensive cotton cultivation, which would have strangled the South’s economy unless America acquired new land. The economics of slavery, that is, arguably turned a comedy of errors into a tragedy in which the main participants could not act other than they did.

America got “such a peace as the circumstances permitted” after the Civil War, Codevilla argues, although “the Republican Party inflicted twelve years of attempted nation-building on Southern states—sucking their remaining wealth, building political rotten-boroughs to pad its powers in Congress, and rubbing salt into wounds by appointing Negroes to positions with punitive powers.” Here Codevilla seems callous. There is a difference between American efforts to impose democracy on foreign lands, and a commitment to extend democratic rights to people born on American soil but previously denied such rights. It was not the freed slaves’ fault that they were ill-prepared for democratic citizenship: America had imported them against their will and therefore bore the responsibility for their condition. Codevilla argues that it was inevitable for a century to pass between the end of the Civil War and the Voting Rights Act of 1965; but he does not dissuade me from believing that the tardy fulfillment of Reconstruction’s promise was a scandal.

If America’s Civil War had broken out later, after 1861, the Union well might have lost and slavery would have spread throughout South America. Had the South enjoyed time to link up with Napoleon III’s invasion of Mexico in 1862, and perhaps also with Lord Palmerston’s Britain, the blockade of Southern ports and even the Union cause would have been untenable. In that sense, John Brown’s Harper’s Ferry raid and other abolitionist actions drew out the South prematurely and contributed to Union victory.

Ronald Reagan and his national security team, at least in his first administration, understood that the sclerotic Soviet economy could not compete with America’s, and that Russia understood its window to project power was closing. That insight informed Reagan’s commitment to Cold War victory. Détente with a declining superpower was not an option: America had to win. For the same reason, it is misguided to expect a negotiated settlement with Iran.

Codevilla calls for the formation of a different, genuine elite aligned with the outlook of America’s founders: “America needs a new generation of statesmen,” he contends, who “would have to affirm their craft’s forgotten fundamental: that the search for peace begins with neutrality in others’ affairs and that when others trouble our peace we impose it upon them by war—war as terribly decisive as we can make it.”
Read more here.

Calculable rather than chaotic

Lots of people are writing about the differences and similarities between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. How would they be in foreign policy? Here is an excerpt from Spengler's piece in Asia Times:
Cruz, if elected, will have to do his own thinking, to an extent that no American president has had to do since Lincoln. He is intelligent enough and arrogant enough to do that, and he will owe no favors or patronage to the Establishment. He would be the cleverest man to occupy the oval office in a century and a half. He carries no baggage from the Bush administration, and will not invite the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol or Fox News’ Charles Krauthammer to draft an inaugural address, as did Bush in 2004. He won the Iowa caucuses by building the strongest grass-roots network in the country (he claims to have a campaign chairman in every county of the United States), which makes him independent of the party apparatus, such as it is.

Endearing, boyish, photogenic and eloquent, Marco Rubio is the candidate that Central Casting sent the Establishment from the studio pool. Rubio, a middling student at university and a Florida machine politician throughout his career, says his lines well but does not have an original thought about foreign policy. That is why the Establishment likes him. Cruz knows that the Establishment is naked, and is willing to say so. That’s why they don’t like him.

...Cruz is not (as the Establishment punditeska suggests) a “Jacksonian” isolationist in the sense of Walter Russell Meade’s use of the term; rather, he is a John Quincy Adams realist in Angelo Codevilla‘s reading. Cruz feels no ideological compulsion to assert America’s world mastery. He is concerned about American security and American power. The Establishment came into being in America’s brief moment at the head of a unipolar world, and is imprinted with that notion the way ducklings are imprinted with the image of their mothers. The world has changed: China is becoming a world power, albeit a world power of a sort the West has trouble understanding, and Russia is fighting for national revival. These things are neither good nor bad for America, but exactly the opposite. From a Cruz administration we would expect the pursuit of American self-interest, which would mean a substantial improvement in military technology as well as collaboration with Russia and China where it suits American interests and opposition where it doesn’t.

I do not mean to suggest that Beijing or Moscow would be happy with a Cruz presidency. For one thing, it is likely that Cruz would try to widen the gap between America’s military technology and the rest of the world’s. But foreign policy, would be calculable rather than chaotic, and that is something America’s competitors could live with.
Read more here.

"We might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether," suggested agent Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council.

Paul Bedard reports in the Washington Examiner,
In a shocking reversal of policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are being told to release illegal immigrants and no longer order them to appear at deportation hearings, essentially a license to stay in the United States, a key agent testified Thursday.

What's more, the stand down order includes a requirement that the whereabouts of illegals released are not to be tracked.

"We might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether," suggested agent Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council.

..."Immigration laws today appear to be mere suggestions. There are little or no consequences for breaking the laws and that fact is well known in other countries. If government agencies like DHS or CBP are allowed to bypass Congress by legislating through policy, we might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether," Judd concluded.
Read more here.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Damaging our national security, endangering lives, sources and methods, and playing her own version of "it depends on what the meaning of is is."

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann write,
Hillary Clinton's use of a private, non-secure email server housed in her Chappaqua basement resulted in the exposure of hundreds of classified documents to foreign hackers. Some of her emails contained highly classified information that endangered the lives of our spies.

According to the State Department Inspector General, 22 of Hillary's emails totaling 38 pages included materials marked "HCS-O," the most sensitive category reserved for information about clandestine CIA operatives in ongoing operations. These emails were so sensitive that they could not be released -- even with the entire message redacted.

According to John Schindler, an intelligence analyst writing for The Observer,, "these classified emails could jeopardize "sources, methods, and lives...and exposed the Holy Grail items of American espionage such as the true names of Central Intelligence Agency intelligence officers serving overseas under cover," Schindler added :"Worse, some of those exposed are serving under non-official cover."

Schindler has confirmed the content of the emails and labeled them as "colossally damaging to our national security [that[has put lives at risk," According to Schindler's sources, the names of foreigners on the CIA payroll were also included, jeopardizing their cove -- and their lives -- if the material was hacked.

On her home-brewed server, the documents were unprotected and easily vulnerable to hackers. According to former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Hillary's emails were probably hacked by China, Russia, and Iran.

...Hillary Clinton is playing her own version of "it depends on what the meaning of is is." That was Bill Clinton's cutesy response to the Grand Jury when asked about whether there "is" a relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

Since the FBI began investigating her email server, Hillary has repeatedly defended herself by insisting that she neither sent nor received any material marked Classified.

Again, that doesn't matter. Classified material is based on the content, not any marking.

...And we know that Hillary found ways to deliberately circumvent the protections on classified materials. When top aide Jake Sullivan told her that he couldn't fax a classified memo she was waiting for, she quickly showed her adeptness at sending classified information. Sullivan told her: "they say they've had issues sending secure fax. They're working on it." Hillary effortlessly directed him: "If they can't, turn into non-paper with no identifying heading and send non-secure."

In other words, take off the classified markings and send it anyway.

Hillary didn't protect classified information when it was inconvenient for her. Now she's caught. And now she's working overtime trying to spin it.

It won't work Hillary. You've betrayed your oath and betrayed the people who have been exposed.
Read more here.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Barbie has changed.

Barbie has changed. Go to Manhattan Infidel to see her and listen to her.

Deal-cutting with Democrats

Ace of Spades was
hoping for Trump to do better, to get this down to Cruz and Trump. I have questions about both -- I have questions about Cruz's electability, and I have questions about Trump's judgment and commitment to important principles. And his electability.

I'll tell you, though, the last several weeks of watching Donald Trump attack Cruz as insufficiently willing to cut deals with liberal Democrat demagogues has really made me wonder what Trump's actual usefulness is here is.

The attacks on him being a Canadian -- that I ignored as typical I-can-go-as-low-as-can-be-imagined Trumpian nonsense. I could blow that silly crap off.

But what was really bothering me is Trump's conception of the theory of his candidacy as the Do Business With Democrats candidate.

No thanks. We have Marco Rubio for that already.
Read more here.

Appealing to the working class and middle class

Ace of Spades asks,
With the working class, and in fact the middle class, taking a world-class beating for this decade, and frankly for several decades, what actual tangible, gee-that-might-actually-work proposals is the GOP offering people?
Go here to read his thoughts.

Too many accommodations?

Bret Stephens believes we Americans have made too many accommodations. He writes in the Wall Street Journal that our votes for presidential candidates have, since bill Clinton, looked past issues of character and intellect. We must not be choosing the candidate he wants (Marco Rubio). Read more here.

Another way Senator Rubio is hurting American workers

Here is another way Senator Rubio is supporting crony capitalism to the detriment of American workers. From the American Interest: He supports expansion of the H1-B visa program that is facilitating the loss of jobs for American workers, particularly in the IT sector.
There are many reasons to be supportive of legal U.S. immigration. But as we’ve written before, the H1-B is an ugly, crony-ist measure. It brings none of the benefits to the nation of legal immigration, while carrying many of the costs. Lawmakers may be tempted to look to it as a way to work-around a broken immigration system—but evidence suggests that it makes many problems worse: layoffs, lowered wages, and ultimately, offshoring (as well as unknown amount of visa-overstays.) Passing an expansion of it right now would be sure to exacerbate immigration tensions, to little gain—unless you own a business that uses H1-B workers.
Read more here.

Cruz and Trump: call a temporary cease fire!

So now we have confirmation: It's a three-way race for the 2016 GOP nomination. Cruz walks out of Iowa with 8 delegates to the Republican convention in Cleveland this summer, Trump with 7, and Rubio with 6.

I was so glad to be able to listen to Laura Ingraham this morning before shoveling snow and heading off to work. Laura is warning Cruz and Trump to knock off going after each other. The media is trumpeting last night as a victory for Rubio. Senators Scott and Gardner are urging Republicans to unite behind Rubio.

But Laura Ingraham is reminding us that even though Rubio won election in Florida describing himself as a conservative, he has been anything but that as a senator. He has joined with Chuck Schumer in the Gang of Eight push for Amnesty for illegals, and still has not made up his mind about whether to support the Trans Pacific Partnership bill (TPP).

Laura says the TPP is a push for global government, decreasing American sovereignty, and that the average American worker will get hosed by it. It gives an international tribunal power to hurt Americans by issuing penalties on American businesses.

Laura said that after the Iowa caucuses in 2008 she offered the same advice to Santorum and Gingrich that she is offering to Cruz and Trump today. Neither could put aside their egos to do that, and the result was a nonconservative (Romney) exploited their battles to become the candidate. Now the media focuses on any insults Cruz or Trump give each other, giving Rubio a clear shot at moving to the front of the pack.